Nick Chong · 2 days ago · 2 min read
Almost all the best-performing altcoins of recent weeks have one thing in common: they’re all related to decentralized finance — often DeFi protocols based on the Ethereum blockchain. Look no further than Chainlink (LINK), a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum that is up by approximately 600 percent from the March capitulation lows.
Coincidentally, many of the worst-performing altcoins of recent weeks have one thing in common: they’re Proof of Work (mining) blockchains with relatively little development and economic activity compared to, say, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Eric Conner, a prominent Ethereum proponent who works on Gnosis, expects the trend of DeFi coins effectively absorbing the value of entire blockchains to continue.
Billions of value may soon flow into DeFi and Ethereum from “ghost” blockchains
Conner commented on Aug. 9 that he expects the approximately $50 billion worth of value locked in “ghost” blockchains to flood towards DeFi and, by extension, towards Ethereum.
“The ghost chain reckoning is coming. There is well over $50bn in market cap value for chains no one uses. They will all be usurped by DeFi apps with actual use by the end of this market cycle.”
The ghost chain reckoning is coming. There is well over $50bn in market cap value for chains no one uses.
They will all be usurped by DeFi apps with actual use by the end of this market cycle.
— eric.eth (@econoar) August 9, 2020
Backing this strong assertion, Conner cited the fact that the Ethereum-based Uniswap alone accounts for more than $300,000 worth of transaction fees a day, putting it on pace with the entire Ethereum blockchain and Bitcoin. Not to mention, as revealed by Uniswap’s founder, the decentralized exchange processes over 100,000 transactions a day.
This has been echoed by others in the space.
As reported by CryptoSlate previously, Jason Choi of the Spartan Group, a cryptocurrency venture and hedge fund, commented in July that he cannot fathom why Bitcoin forks are storing value when DeFi and Bitcoin exist:
“I can’t find a defensible thesis for most $BTC forks (LTC, BCH, BSV) over the long term. With the emergence of fee-accruing tokens in DeFi, seems natural that capital parked in these glorified digital pet rocks either flow to BTC or to DeFi.”
Spencer Noon of DTC Capital followed suit, suggesting that Ethereum and its DeFi protocols/coins will suck in value from all corners of the cryptocurrency industry due to the attractive investment opportunities provided in this space:
“Cryptoassets from blockchains that lack expressiveness (ex: Bitcoin) or healthy ecosystems (ex: ghost chains) are being sucked into Ethereum’s #DeFi yield vacuum. Not enough people are talking about how long-term this could threaten the security models of those blockchains…”
What’s the growth opportunity?
CryptoSlate market sector data indicates that at current, the DeFi industry has a market capitalization of $10.73 billion — or 2.96 percent of the entire cryptocurrency industry.
Conner’s comment makes it sound like DeFi could soon reach a market capitalization of $50 billion or more as “ghost chains” wither away. But it’s important to note that this may not be the case.
Take the example of Bitcoin forks: chains like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, Litecoin, and the others have advertised market capitalizations in the hundreds of millions or even billions.
These market capitalization metrics are false. Due to the nature of how blockchains fork, there may be an advertised 19 million BCH while there may only be X million coins in circulation.
This does not take away from the sentiment, though, that blockchains with little intrinsic value will potentially lose market share to networks and applications with value — be that DeFi, Bitcoin, or otherwise.